Wellness tourism up by 6.5% – research at WTM London

Published on : Thursday, November 8, 2018

Wellness tourism is growing faster than the overall tourism sector. It accounts for 830 million trips a year and is estimated at $639 billion, according to figures released at World Travel Market London.



Destinations revolving around wellness are a good option to over-crowded destinations.



Global Wellness Institute report shows that tourism expenditure grew 3.2 per cent in the two years to 2017, wellness tourism expenditure rose by 6.5 per cent. It is growing across the world.



The highest number of wellness trips is made to Europe. Other prominent markets for wellness tourism are North America and Asia.



Ophelia Yeung and Katherine Johnston, the authors of the Global Wellness Tourism Economy report said that 17 million jobs worldwide were generated by wellness tourism. They were speaking at hour-long Wellness and Wellbeing Hour at WTM.



Wellness tourists spend more than international traveller (53 per cent) and average domestic tourist (178 per cent). Wellness tourists are better educated and are open to new experiences.



Global Wellness Institute defines wellness tourism as travel to maintain or improve health. It is different from medical tourism where one travels to seek treatment.



Some of the examples of wellness tourism are U.K. boot camps, medical check-ups in Malaysia and Thailand, spiritual ceremonies in India. Hotels are integrating wellness products. While Hyatt has acquired the fitness brand exhale, Equinox will open a hotel in New York’s new Husdon Yard district, and it has 75 more in the pipeline.



Singapore Airlines has partnered with wellness brand Canyon Ranch to create onboard exercises and healthy menus. Other collaborations include cruise line Seabourn’s tie-up with Dr Andrew Weil, Holland America with Oprah, MSC with Technogym and Weight Watchers – now rebranded as WW.



More such collaborations are expected.  Ms Johnston believes that every hotel will keep wellness as an option.


Ms Johnston said, “It has the potential to attract people off season and take them away from the most well-known, overcrowded destinations and into less well-known areas.”


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